Hey, would you like to talk to me?

Communication has evolved at a rapid pace. In the digital age, apps, social media, text messages and emails are our primary means of staying connected. However, one traditional form of communication seems to be fading into obscurity: the phone call.

Reluctant to answer phone calls from unknown numbers? Generation Z, those born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, are notorious for not taking voice calls. Currently making up about 30% of the worlds’ population and expected to account for over 27% of the workforce by 2025, Gen Zer’s are increasingly changing the way we communicate in the workplace. As a recruitment consultant, I’ve witnessed this phenomenon firsthand. Time and again, I find myself leaving voicemails when attempting to engage in conversations with potential candidates. Many only respond to a text.

But it’s not just the Gen Zs. Recently, I was conducting research for a salary survey with candidates and clients who work in Digital Marketing. More often than not, I was met with voicemails, but sometimes a text message came through right after ending the call with, “Sorry, who’s this?”

Two factors have seen the decline of the traditional phone call:

  • The rise of text and app-based communication: The prevalence of texting, messaging apps, and social media platforms has fundamentally altered the way we communicate. These platforms offer a sense of community, may have increased security features, and the written form allows individuals to craft their messages thoughtfully, and avoid the pressure of an immediate response.
  • The fear of the unknown: Phone calls have become increasingly perceived as intrusive and disruptive to the flow of daily life. I get it. With the number of scams and spam calls on the rise, the fear of falling victim to a fraudulent scheme is real. Not to mention, answering a phone call from an unknown number (and even someone known) can trigger anxiety and apprehension for a lot of people.

It’s important to recognise that communication norms evolve with each generation. While we may lament the decline of traditional phone calls (who wouldn’t miss the joy of hearing a loved one’s voice on the other end of the line), many people in business are already adapting to the new communication preferences.  Whether it’s GenZ/A, early adopters in older cohorts or savvy professionals such as our Digital Marketers, communication styles cut across multiple generations at work.

Here’s five ways we can bridge the gap:

  1. Embrace multichannel communication: Recognise that Gen Z values diversity in communication channels. Instead of relying solely on phone calls, leverage text messages, emails, and messaging apps to reach out. Providing multiple avenues for communication ensures that individuals can engage in the way that feels most comfortable to them. A common trend now is sending a text message prior to calling with a brief overview of who you are and what you are calling about. Another great option is to utilise platforms such as LinkedIn, to get in touch with people and sending through a connection request, before calling.
  2. Prioritise transparency and authenticity: Build trust by being transparent about the purpose for getting in contact. When reaching out to individuals, clearly state who you are, why you’re contacting them, and how they can benefit from the interaction. Authenticity goes a long way in alleviating concerns and fostering meaningful connections.
  3. Respect boundaries and preferences: Understand that not everyone will be receptive to phone calls, and that’s okay. Respect individuals’ preferences for asynchronous communication and be flexible in your approach. Allow candidates to choose the communication method that suits them best, whether it’s a quick text exchange or a scheduled video call.
  4. Provide value in every interaction: Make every communication meaningful by providing value to the recipient. Whether it’s sharing relevant job opportunities, offering career advice, or providing industry insights to clients, I demonstrate that my outreach is worth their time and attention. By adding value, you’ll create a positive association with your communication efforts.
  5. Foster two-way dialogue: Communication should be a dialogue, not a monologue. Encourage open communication by actively listening each party’s questions, concerns, other and feedback. By fostering a two-way dialogue, you’ll build rapport and establish lasting connections that extend beyond a single interaction.

I’m confident we can bridge the generation gap and create meaningful connections in the digital age, but honestly, I’d still love to get on the phone and talk to you! In the meantime, keep a look out for the Slade Group Digital Marketing Salary Guide, which will be released in the next couple of weeks from the team here at Slade Executive.

If you’d like to discuss your talent needs or your career aspirations, contact me on 0451 223 102 or loshp@sladegroup.com.au, or connect with me on LinkedIn.